Lotus Blossom

What is it

Focus the power of brainstorming using a structured, visual representation of ideas—pushing you to fill out every box with new ideas.

Why use it

  • Help develop many ideas with a focus on quantity.
  • Accelerate the process of coming up with organized and binned ideas.
  • Unlock creativity by encouraging users to go beyond the obvious “first thought” ideas.

When to use it

When quickly producing a large quantity of ideas or exploring a range of facets of a problem, solution, or topic.

Level

Beginner

Outcome

Generate

Group Size

2+ people

Suggested Time

60+ minutes

Lotus Blossom Worksheet

Lotus Blossom Worksheet

How to do it

STEP 1

Eight 3-by-3-inch squares are arranged around a center blossom. The center square of each blossom contains a concept or problem related to the other squares of the blossom. Enter a problem to be solved, an item to be improved, or a theme to be examined in the center box (Box I in the example).

STEP 2

Brainstorm related components, solutions, or themes and put them in the boxes immediately surrounding the center box (Boxes A-H).

STEP 3

Use the values from those boxes as the center of the eight lotus blossoms on the outer edges of the sheet. (You’re propagating ideas.)

STEP 4

Brainstorm related components, solutions, or themes, and enter these in the eight boxes surrounding each of the new center seeds for each outer lotus blossom. Try your best to complete all the blossoms to maximize ideas.

STEP 5

When the exercise is complete, you will have at least 64 new ideas to explore related to the original problem or theme. Review and determine which are viable or important to move forward with.

Benefits

  • Generate a large quantity (64!) ideas very quickly
  • Stretch your team past thinking of the first few “obvious” ideas
  • Structured way to ideate

Challenges

    • Not very flexible for those who think in a more unstructured manner
    • Sometimes one person gets the “pen” – democratize adding ideas to the canvas
    • Blank canvas can be intimidating, hard to get started
    • May get too specific too quickly

Combine With

Need help using this tool with your team?

Questions?

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